The number of beneficiaries of micro-loans provided by companies and civil society associations specialised in this activity reached some 1.8 million people until the end of 2016, according to the chairperson of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), Sherif Samy.
Samy pointed out that 2016 saw growth in the microfinance activity, noting that the current volume of financing across companies and civil society organisations in this activity reached EGP 4.5bn by the end of 2016.
During his word at the conference held by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to announce launching a microfinance initiative, Samy said that there are 755 licensed bodies providing micro finance and serving their customers through 1,425 offices around the country.
He added that civil society organisations account for 77% of the micro finance market, versus 23% for companies in terms of the size of funding. Meanwhile, civil organisations account for 84% of the number of clients, against 16% for companies.
Samy pointed out that microfinance funding is one of the pillars of financial inclusion in Egypt, noting that this funding achieved positive results in terms of empowering women with financial services.
He added that the latest statistics available to EFSA indicate that women account for 70% of the number of beneficiaries from micro financing and 51% of the size of funding.
He noted that microfinance has a mass funding formula, where the number of its beneficiaries amounted to 982,000 citizens, accounting for 46% of the total number of clients of civil society organisations, against 847,000 clients (53%) of the individual funding.
He added that by analysing the purpose of the financing granted, the trading business was ranked first among the size of portfolio, accounting alone for 60%. It was also ranked first in terms of the number of beneficiaries, comprising 67% of the total number of clients.
According to Samy, the service activity came in second place with a portfolio of 19% of funding and 14% of beneficiaries. The agriculture sector followed with 13% of funding and 11% of number of clients, followed, finally, with the crafts and productivity sector, accounting for 8% of the size of funding and 8% of the number of clients.